Dr Aadil El-Turabi

Dr Aadil El-Turabi
Address: The Jenner Institute, Centre for Cellular Molecular Physiology
Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN
Tel: +44 (0)1865 617969
Email: aadil.el-turabi@ndm.ox.ac.uk

Principal areas of research:

B-cell vaccines utilising virus-like particles (VLPs), Neurodegenerative Disease and Dementia, Anti-cytokine targets, Chronic Pain


Research interests stem from my background in biochemistry and molecular biology (BSc Hons; PhD, University of Leeds) and my research experiences applied to molecular virology and vaccinology. I spent over 8 years working in the biotech sector, leading a small team in a SME specialist pharmaceutical company, where as Head of Protein Production and Bioprocessing we developed scalable purification strategies for vaccines. In total I have been fortunate to amass over 15 years VLP research experience within industry and academia. Over my varied career I have enjoyed transitioning between academia, SME biotech, large pharma and CROs in the UK and internationally. My expertise in bioprocess and protein purification has combined well with an interest in molecular and structural virology to adapt biological nanoparticle assemblies for translational biomedical uses.

As the founding Postdoctoral Research Scientist and senior member of Prof Martin Bachmann’s group at the Jenner Institute, my research focuses on developing virus-like particle (VLP) based vaccines for several chronic and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Working within the Bachmann group has given me the opportunity to indulge my curiosity in a broad spectrum of human diseases and I’ve led on exciting projects related to Parkinson’s, Psoriasis and Chronic Pain. In addition, I’ve also enjoyed interacting with experts in disease conditions, immunological principles (i.e., self-tolerance, immunomodulation, isotype switching) to try to improve vaccine designs. I have also enjoyed championing VLPs as excellent vaccine platforms, collaborating on traditional vaccine targets of infectious diseases with brilliant colleagues in the Jenner.

The translational potential for the VLP platforms seems obvious to me, and I am keen to see them used in developing novel therapeutic (and prophylactic) vaccines and to provide alternative medicines for the benefit of patients living with NCDs chronic and infectious diseases.

To date I have been involved in research supported by awards from Micheal J Fox Foundation, MRC Confidence-in-Concept, Versus Arthritis (formerly Arthritis Research UK) and most recently Alzheimer’s Research UK Oxford Network.

Past Collaborations:

Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre (University of Oxford)

Jenner Institute (University of Oxford)

Division of Structural Biology (University of Oxford)

Kennedy Institute (University of Oxford)

Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience, SiTran (University of Sheffield)

Nuffield Department Clinical Neurosciences (University of Oxford)

Department of Dermatology (University Hospital Zurich)

Sir William Dunn School of Pathology (University of Oxford)

Inselspital Department of Rheumatology, Immuonlogy and Allergy (University of Bern)

Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre (Riga, Latvia)

Key Publications

von Loga I, El-Turabi A (co-first author), Jostins L, et al. Active Immunisation Targeting Nerve Growth Factor Attenuates Chronic Pain Behaviour in Murine Osteoarthritis. Ann Rheum. Dis. 2019 (Epub). http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ annrheumdis-2018-214489

Bachmann MF, El-Turabi A, Fettelschoss-Gabriel A, Vogel M. The Prospects of an Active Vaccine Against Asthma Targeting IL-5. Front Microbiol 9:2256 (2018). doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.02522

Zeltins A, West J, Zabel F, El-Turabi A, Balke I, Haas S, et al. Incorporation of tetanus-epitope into virus-like particles achieves vaccine responses even in older recipients in models of psoriasis, Alzheimer’s and cat allergy. npj Vaccines 2017 2:1. Nature Publishing Group; 2017 Oct 23;2(1):30.

Doucet M, El-Turabi A (co-first author), Zabel F, Hunn BHM, Bengoa-Vergniory N, Cioroch M, Ramm M, Smith AM, Gomes AC, Cabral de Miranda G, Wade-Martins R, Bachmann MF. Preclinical development of a vaccine against oligomeric alpha-synuclein based on virus-like particles. PLOS ONE. 12 (2017), doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0181844.

El-Turabi A, Bachmann MF. Chapter 41: Noninfectious disease vaccines. Plotkin SA, Orenstein W, Offit PA, and Edwards KM. Plotkin's Vaccines 7th Edition (2017). Elsevier ISBN: 978-0-323-35761-6

Jin J, Hjerrild KA, Silk SE, Brown RE, Labbé GM, Marshall JM, Wright KE, Bezemer S, Clemmensen SB, Biswas S, Li Y, El-Turabi A, Douglas AD, Hermans P, Detmers FJ, de Jongh WA, Higgins MK, Ashfield R, Draper SJ. Accelerating the clinical development of protein-based vaccines for malaria by efficient purification using a four amino acid C-terminal 'C-tag'. Int J Parasitol 47(7):435-446 Jun 2017

Cabral-Miranda G, Heath MD, Mohsen MO, Gomes AC, Engeroff P, Flaxman A, Leoratti FMS, El-Turabi A, Reyes-Sandoval A, Skinner MA et al. Virus-Like Particle (VLP) Plus Microcrystalline Tyrosine (MCT) Adjuvants Enhance Vaccine Efficacy Improving T and B Cell Immunogenicity and Protection against Plasmodium berghei/vivax. Vaccines (Basel) 5(2):02 May 2017

Alves E, Salman AM, Leoratti F, Lopez-Camacho C, Viveros-Sandoval ME, Lall A, El-Turabi A, Bachmann MF, Hill AV, Janse CJ, Khan SM, Reyes-Sandoval A. Evaluation of Plasmodium vivax Cell-Traversal Protein for Ookinetes and Sporozoites as a Preerythrocytic P. vivax Vaccine. Clin Vaccine Immunol 24(4):Apr 2017

Gomes AC, Flace A, Saudan P, Zabel F, Cabral-Miranda G, Turabi AE, Manolova V, Bachmann MF. Adjusted Particle Size Eliminates the Need of Linkage of Antigen and Adjuvants for Appropriated T Cell Responses in Virus-Like Particle-Based Vaccines. Front Immunol 8:226 2017

Peyret H, Gehin A, Thuenemann EC, Blond D, El Turabi A, Beales L, Clarke D, Gilbert RJ, Fry EE, Stuart DI et al. Tandem fusion of hepatitis B core antigen allows assembly of virus-like particles in bacteria and plants with enhanced capacity to accommodate foreign proteins. PLOS ONE 10(4):e0120751 Jan 2015.